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Kingdom hosts 13th ASEM Covid-19 style

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Prime Minister Hun Sen delivers a speech in Phnom Penh. SPM

Kingdom hosts 13th ASEM Covid-19 style

Prime Minister Hun Sen is set to lead the 13th Asia-Europe summit (ASEM13), which Cambodia will host via video conference due to the pandemic on November 25-26.

Luy David, secretary of state for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, told reporters on October 12 that Hun Sen had already sent invitations to the 52 ASEM partner leaders, 14 of whom have confirmed their participation. He said Cambodia would receive confirmations from other leaders around a month prior to the summit.

“So the confirmations are still coming in because we have about a month and a half left. Among the leaders who have already confirmed are prime ministers and presidents of Asia and Europe. The presidents of the European Council and European Commission have also confirmed their participation,” he said.

According to David, the meeting will be arranged via a video system and will not require a lot of preparation.

“We have a video system, we use the Zoom platform. In the past I have chaired all the ASEM senior officials meetings via Zoom as well. It went smoothly. Therefore, I think it’s not a problem for our summit next month,” said David.

David said at a press conference on ASEM13 hosted by the Club of Cambodian Journalists via video on September 16 that Cambodia had prepared three documents to be adopted at ASEM13 – the Phnom Penh statement on socio-economic recovery after Covid-19, the ASEM13 chair statement, and the ASEM13 statement on connectivity.

He said the Phnom Penh statement was authored by Cambodia’s senior leadership and was aimed at confirming the broader Asia-Europe leadership’s commitment to assist the developing world with socio-economic recovery post Covid-19.

He mentioned that the meeting would also discuss managing the challenges posed by Covid-19 and quickening economic recovery after the pandemic.

Cambodia will host the ASEM13 via video conference under the theme “Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth” for two days from November 25-26 following two prior postponements in 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

International Relations Institute of the Royal Academy of Cambodia director Kin Phea said Cambodia’s hosting of the meeting demonstrates the country’s important role in regional and global affairs within the framework of multilateral roles. Cambodia can also show its capabilities in terms of roles and human resources, as well as information that can be spread about Cambodia’s image on the international stage.

“Through this meeting, we see that the most important thing is that we can benefit from joint efforts to fight Covid-19 and economic recovery, and it is also an important driving force for multilateralism in the region as well as in the world today,” he said.

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